Three people applied to replace Monte Reyes on the Porterville City Council.
Dawn Bennett, Ed McCervey and Don Weyhrauch have all applied to replace Reyes to represent District 4 on the board.
The board will hold a special meeting at 5:30 p.m. Monday to publicly interview the nominees. The board could also decide on one of these candidates to replace Reyes at this meeting.
The item has also been placed on the agenda for Tuesday’s regular council meeting which begins at 6:30 p.m. If the board does not select a candidate to replace Reyes at Monday’s meeting, it could do so at Tuesday’s meeting.
Reyes tendered his resignation from the board on July 19. The council has until August 19 to fill the position.
So if the board is unable to fill the position at Monday’s special meeting or Tuesday’s regular meeting, it could schedule a special meeting for Thursday or Friday of next week, because 24 hours notice would be needed to post an announcement for a special meeting.
Three of the four current council members — Mayor Martha A. Flores, Lawana Tate, Milt Stowe and Kellie Carrillo are expected to vote to endorse a nominee to fill the post vacated by Reyes. If the board is unable to reach a consensus to fill the position by August 19, then it would be up to Flores to decide how to fill the position and Flores could choose to appoint someone to the position herself. .
All three candidates live in District 4, as required. The candidate selected to replace Reyes will serve until the end of his term until November 2024.
The board could decide to give each candidate the opportunity to make an opening statement. When the board asks questions, it can also rotate the order in which candidates answer so that each candidate receives an equal chance to answer first and last. And the board could choose to allow each candidate to make a closing statement as well.
Candidates had until 5 p.m. Wednesday to apply. Here is general information about each nominee:
Bennett owns Confectionery Diva which she describes as a wedding/celebration bakery/cake shop. Bennett was late in deciding to submit his application because his application was received about an hour before the deadline around 4 p.m. Wednesday.
Bennett said she is a new resident to Porterville and California. “As a new resident of both Porterville and California, I am ‘untainted’ by any history with the city,” Bennett wrote on her application. “I care about my new hometown and its people. I believe in serving others as a way to give back, pay it forward and make a difference.
In a letter to the board, Bennett said she moved to Porterville in January 2022. She added that she had attended several board meetings virtually.
“I am interested and eager to contribute to the betterment of my community,” Bennett wrote in his letter. “Realizing that with this responsibility comes challenges, I am up to the tasks at hand.”
Bennett also said she had “basic knowledge of projects, tasks, departments, county and state task forces, etc. and that she was willing, able and willing to learn everything that this position requires. I learn quickly and I’m never afraid to step out of my comfort zone to learn new skills.
“Interactions with the public are not a problem for me because they are members of the community just like me. I am not easily provoked and am able to maintain an even temper in difficult and tense situations. I am also kind, patient, polite, understanding, compassionate, yet firm.
Bennett has also worked as a registered nurse and as a travel nurse. She earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Florida State University and also holds a business management degree from West Virginia Business College.
McCervey announced his intention to be a candidate to replace Reyes shortly after Reyes’ resignation was announced and McCervey’s candidacy was officially received on Monday.
He said his goal was “to use my skills, abilities and experience to help the city make good decisions and represent the citizens of our city.”
McCervey works as a regional and national transportation manager in areas such as supply chain operations and the delivery of small and large retail products to more than 40 retail companies and subsidiaries across the countries and US territories. He earned an associate’s degree from Porterville College and also has a Hazmat certification from the National Cargo Bureau.
McCervey also served on the Tule County Redistricting Commission which helped determine the redistricting of the five districts represented by the five county supervisors. McCervey represented District 5 on that commission.
Other positions he has held in community service and business include serving as vice president of a non-profit water company supporting a mountain community, which included writing and executing of regulations. He is currently a board member of a regional children’s Bible camp that supports dozens of churches.
Among the skills he listed were leading cross-functional teams; project/change management; process development and deployment; troubleshooting/problem solving; and financial modelling/analysis.
McCervey has also been a vocal critic of the proposed Brookside subdivision in which more than 200 homes would be built just south and adjacent to the Summit Charter Lombardi campus. Annexation of the area into the city clearing the way for development was recently approved by the LAFCO of Tulare County.
McCervey and area residents have expressed concern about the city and county’s inability to cope with the heavy traffic occurring around the school. Lombardi is the only access route inside and outside the school.
The city also received Weyhrauch’s candidacy on Monday. Weyhrauch said he is an experienced business professional and facilitator currently working as a real estate agent for Century 21 Jordan Link and Company.
“I love Porterville,” Weyhrauch said. “I earn my living here. I wish to serve as we grow safely into the future.
Weyhrauch said he has held many security manager positions, served as director of security management and served as vice president. In addition to several safety certifications, Weyhrauch said he has certifications as an MSHA gas tester and several OSHA certifications as well.
Weyhrauch said he has successfully partnered with corporate teams and built and maintained complex construction projects including residential, heavy civil, power generation, transmission and distribution projects. He also listed extensive professional development experience.
Weyhrauch said he was “interested in building the best; in people, departments, organizations and in himself.
He added that “his broad base of knowledge and construction experience brings insights and solutions that reduce risk while building professionalism from the team to the boardroom.”